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China Is Testing Its First Suspended Railway

There’s video.

Chinese officials recently announced a transportation first for the country: a suspended railway.

The railway, which looks like an upside down monorail and is designed to resemble a panda, is being tested in Chengdu, in central China, according to the state-controlled Xinhua News.

The railway has top speeds of around 37 miles per hour, and was tested along a track that was about the size of a football field. The train is powered by lithium batteries, with each car carrying up to 120 people, officials said. 

But why aboveground? And why suspended? According to Xinhua, the answer is money. The designer of the project told the outlet that the suspended railway cost as little as one-eighth the amount an underground subway would. 

They also, in the end, got some free international publicity, and added to their list of superlative things: a very, very sad polar bear, moon balloons, and a massive radio telescope, among many others